The Real Deal Chicago

Chicago Cheat Sheet: Zell says Amazon HQ2 should skip Chicago … & more

Also, Union Station redevelopment poised for final city approval
By John O’Brien | October 29, 2018 05:30PM

Chicago (Credit: iStock)

Zell to Amazon: Chicago “the last place” for HQ2

Sam Zell said despite all Chicago has to offer, Amazon should look elsewhere for its second North American headquarters. At an investors conference last week, Zell said Illinois’ and Chicago’s troubles revolve around their depressed finances, including their multibillion-dollar unfunded pension liabilities. “On a pure competitive basis, Chicago is far and away the No. 1 place that Amazon should pick for their second headquarters — major international airport, major universities, talent, etc. — and yet if I were Amazon, that’d be the last place I’d consider because you’re taking on, excuse the expression, pre-existing conditions,” Zell said. [Crain’s]

City Council to vote on Union Station redevelopment

The City Council is scheduled to vote Wednesday on a proposal that includes a 50-story office building on land south of Union Station. The project also includes the renovation of a number of floors in the main building and a ninth-story addition of two hotels with a total of 400 rooms. Construction on the $900 million project is expected to begin in 2019 and last three years. [Chicago Tribune]

Landlords push Sears to keep store closing sales in check

Sears can hold closing sales at some stores that will soon shutter, but the stores can’t go overboard with advertising, according to a deal worked out in U.S. bankruptcy court. After Sears filed for bankruptcy and announced the closure of 142 more stores, a group of landlords of malls with Sears stores worried the closing sales could get out of hand, advertising-wise. [Chicago Business Journals]

Chicago Architecture Biennial planning work already underway

The 2019 edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial is still in the research phase, but ideas and themes for the program are taking shape. The key concepts for the event will be land and occupation, nature and ecology, memory and monuments, and civic participation. [Curbed]

North Side mortgage lender builds business with drag queen billboards

Mortgage lender Shimmy Braun said his notable North Side billboard signs that feature Chicago drag queen Chamilla Foxx are part of his strategy to build his business in the gay community. “I wanted to do something different and more fun,” said the Guaranteed Rate lender. [Chicago Tribune]

After Evanston panel stops Harley Clarke Mansion demo, aldermen mull appeal

Evanston’s preservation commission denied the City Council’s request to tear down the Harley Clarke Mansion. But backers of the teardown want to appeal the decision, and it’ll be the Council itself that gets to hear that appeal. [Evanston Review]

East Dundee officials consider Billitteri Enterprises development plan

Billitteri Enterprises proposed buying property at 1 East Main Street in East Dundee, tearing down the existing structure and constructing a 42-foot-tall building. The development would include six to 12 apartments or condos along with possible first-floor retail. The plan is expected to come up for a vote next month. [Daily Herald]